PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Law enforcement and Prince William County residents came together for the inaugural “Community Fair,” hosted by the county’s police department on Saturday.

“It started out as a, ‘Let’s do a recruiting event,’ and it led to, ‘Let’s bring out the entities within Prince William County, show the community what their taxpaying dollars go for, and actually get out and talk to their officers here,'” said Officer Dwayne Midthun from the Prince William County Police Department’s recruiting division.

The idea for the fair was created after the police department began participating in the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ investment in community and law enforcement partnership initiative last year.

“The concept was to create a fair that was specific to Prince William County, that fosters lasting relationships with our diverse community by bringing together members of our law enforcement and citizens in a safe, trusting environment,” said Chief Peter Newsham.

A host of county agencies attended the event to speak to residents and provide information about their organizations. Food truck vendors, live performances and animal adoptions also took place during the fair.

Midthun says the event is a way to highlight the work of the department, amidst difficulty in police recruiting and retention in the region.

“We’ve been doing a community survey for quite some time, and it happens every two years. We ask them, ‘How’s your police department? How’s your fire department?’ Since we’ve been doing that, we have consistently had a 96% citizen approval rating,” said Midthun.

Applications were accepted on-site for those interested in working for the Police, Fire and Rescue or Public Safety Communications agencies.

If you would like to learn more about the Prince William County Police Department, visit their website.